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Boxing Notes for 08/06/2007

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  • Oscar de la Hoya said in an interview recently that he plans to fight twice in 2008, preferably in May and September, and that he will, indeed, return to the welterweight division. He also laughed off the idea of fighting a rematch with Mayweather, which could change sometime next year if there's enough money to be made. For now, I'd expect Oscar is looking at fighting Ricky Hatton in May in England (which would do an enormous house, whether Hatton wins or loses against Floyd) and a titlist in September should he win his May bout. There's no way Oscar doesn't go out without another shot at gold, and frankly, he deserves it. He's done a lot for boxing, and he's never fought an easy schedule.
  • Roy Jones, Jr., is BACK, baby. Following his win over Anthony Hanshaw -- his second in a row! -- Roy is the old Roy again. He says he'll beat Trinidad, then he wants revenge on Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver, and then he wants to return to heavyweight to fight Evander Holyfield and/or...(drum roll, please?)...Wladimir Klitschko! I won't lie, I'd buy it. What if he won? Just, you know, what if? What if he jumped up in the air and punched Klitschko in the face? I'd lose my shit.
  • Wright/Hopkins did about 305,000 buys, which is being considered a success. It's higher than I expected for a fight that I thought could have been promoted way better, which is odd for Golden Boy.
  • I'm starting to think Jorge Barrios is a seriously live underdog against Juan Manuel Marquez. No one disputes how good Marquez is, and I certainly don't. But he's not immune to the letdown over his career, and Barrios isn't a chump. Plus, Marquez only arguably beat Barrera, in my mind.
  • Vazquez-Marquez is the new Barrera-Morales, minus the hate. It eclipses Gatti-Ward in that the skill level is just so amazingly high. These aren't guys with their hands low throwing bombs. These are two guys that can flat-out box with the best of them breaking down the other man's defense at will. It is a remarkable matchup. I have said several times that you can't get a bad fight out of these two guys when put together. I'll also add this: You don't have a shot in hell of getting 12 full rounds, not with that kind of power and pinpoint accuracy on display. I can't say enough about those fights. Hidalgo should be ashamed of that 3,500-fan turnout, and Gary Shaw is absolutely correct to entirely rule out the third fight taking place at Dodge Arena. Put it in Vegas, those fighters deserve it. Pair it with another fight that promises action and watch magic happen. Or can you imagine the love those two would be shown at Boardwalk Hall?
  • Celestino Caballero proved nothing last Saturday night. Well, OK, maybe not. He proved to me that he'd be eaten alive by Vazquez or Marquez. He has good wins and he's certainly a unique fighter, but his punching power is a little suspect, and his sloppiness and defensive lapses would get him manhandled. Plus, he's a jerk and I don't like him.
  • Would you pick Taylor over Hopkins again right now? Because I don't think I would. Of course, some still say Hopkins won both fights. I'm not one of those people.
  • The closer we get to Calzaghe/Kessler, the more I start to favor Calzaghe. At first, I thought Kessler would put him down. Now, having re-watched Calzaghe's massacre of Jeff Lacy, I remember why we all got so high on him for that bout. Calzaghe's a different fighter, punches from lots of angles, and stays wildly busy. Kessler will need a serious plan of attack, and it has to work. And I think Mikkel Kessler is a hell of a fighter, too, but he's pretty textbook in his approach. So for all the Brits, there's one for you.
  • I really hope Shane Mosley beats Cotto in November, because I still demand Mayweather/Mosley in 2008. That fight has to happen, or there will be a small part of me that always questions Mayweather for not fighting Shane at this stage of their careers. If Mosley is to defeat Cotto, that is. Truthfully, I'd just love to see Mosley and Mayweather match up.
  • On the other hand, if Cotto beats Mosley, I'd love to see Cotto-Mayweather. Or Cotto-Oscar, because I think Miguel fights a style that Oscar could be interesting against. de la Hoya says that he wants to fight guys that will stay inside and bang with him -- that means Cotto or Margarito at 147. And also, he says he wants to end his career with crowd-pleasing fights.
  • The Taylor-Pavlik press conferences have started. This is a pick-'em fight to me. Pavlik is a hell of a boxer with good power and one of the best straight rights in boxing, but when motivated, we've seen what Jermain Taylor can do. His last two fights haven't been terribly impressive, no; but he's a supremely gifted athlete, and if Manny Steward has anything to say about it, Taylor will be ready for Pavlik.
  • Anyone else really excited for the August 11 B.A.D.? Penalosa gave Ponce de Leon a hell of a fight in March, and I think he could do the same against Jhonny Gonzalez, another one of my favorite current fighters. And Ponce de Leon/Bautista could have some real fireworks. That's a great 1-2 for HBO.
  • There have again been rumors that Lennox Lewis wants to fight Vitali Klitschko again. The 41-year old Lewis would -- reportedly -- just need the right money. I won't believe it until it happens.
  • Speaking of heavyweight comebacks, Riddick Bowe is scheduled to fight again on August 19 in Kentucky. Believe it on August 20.
  • With Calzaghe and Barrios, I've started to change my mind to one degree or another. But as much as I love Marco Antonio Barrera, I still can't see any other result than a Pacquiao KO by the sixth round in October. I hope Marco proves me wrong and makes a fight of it, but how can he do that? Pacquiao will come out guns blazing, just like he did against Morales last November. There's no doubt in my mind that Freddie Roach will coach him to come out and overwhelm Barrera. And, like Morales, don't expect Marco to retreat. Instinct will take over.
  • Ulises Solis survived a scare on the undercard of Morales/Diaz, and here's hoping he'll fight the winner of the August 25 bout between Hugo Cazares and Ivan Calderon.
  • If Joe Mesi wins on August 18 against Sherman Williams (which he should), expect to see Mesi get some sort of world title shot next year. And hold onto your seats in anticipation, woo!
  • I think Andre Berto might be coming back too fast on the undercard of Taylor/Pavlik, if he indeed does fight David Estrada. The Rivera fight was no walk in the park. But it did show that Berto has more than just power. I thought he showed good ring savvy and awareness throughout the bout, and generally he did own the ring against a solid veteran.
  • But, really, do I think Evander Holyfield can beat Sultan Ibragimov? Yes. And I'll be jumping out of my chair like anyone else if he does. Whatever you think of Holyfield's last five years or so, never forget what a warrior that guy was. Undersized and took it to a lot of good fighters, and he generally came out on top. Holyfield was great.